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Playfish raises $1m from Accel Partners

By on July 4, 2008
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Playfish, the social games company, has raised an additional $1 million from Accel Partners.

Playfish logoPlayfish is a new breed of Internet games company. Unlike traditional web games businesses, you can’t play games on their site: their games are all designed for other networks, particularly Facebook.

And so far this seems to have paid off. Playfish claims to have 8 million players, over 200 million games played per month and 500 million monthly “minutes played.” In June, all three of its games (Who Has the Biggest Brain?, Bowling Buddies and Word Challenge) were in the Facebook games Top 10, attracting over 750,000 unique users a day for an average of 35 minutes playing time. That’s one hell of an achievement for a business that was only set up last year.

According to startupmeme, Playfish is seeking Silicon Valley investment, and the $1 million from Accel Partenrs is described as “bridge financing”. Worldinmotion.biz says the money will be used to “make contacts while continuing to develop new games”.

Which throws up a question for me. Playfish launched in October 2007 with $4 million. It has now raised $1 million while it looks for further Silicon Valley investment. Is this $1 million actually just a further draw down of the original $4 million, or are they struggling to raise further capital despite great operating metrics.

If the latter, this would be worrying for casual gaming startups, becasue I think that Playfish has the right strategy, good games and proven results. If they are struggling to raise money, it will be really tough for companies without Playfish’s advantages.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: thecurveonline.com